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The Earth Observing System Microwave Limb Sounder measures several atmospheric chemical species (OH, HO2, H2O, O3, HCl, ClO, HOCl, BrO, HNO3, N2O, CO, HCN, CH3CN, volcanic SO2), cloud ice, temperature, and geopotential height to improve our understanding of stratospheric ozone chemistry, the interaction of composition and climate, and pollution in the upper troposphere. All measurements are made simultaneously and continuously, during both day and night. The instrument uses heterodyne radiometers that observe thermal emission from the atmospheric limb in broad spectral regions centered near 118, 190, 240, and 640 GHz, and 2.5 THz. It was launched July 15, 2004 on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Aura satellite and started full-up science operations on August 13, 2004. An atmospheric limb scan and radiometric calibration for all bands are performed routinely every 25 s. Vertical profiles are retrieved every 165 km along the suborbital track, covering 82°S to 82°N latitudes on each orbit. Instrument performance to date has been excellent; data have been made publicly available; and initial science results have been obtained.